English Summary 1/2013 – St. Catherine of Siena

Catherine of Siena from the Pen of Raymond of Capua
The first and comprehensive portrait of Catherine, a saint from Siena, depicted her last confessor a Dominican Raymond of Capua several years after her death, when he published an extensive work known as Legenda Maior. The author pictured the image of this important Dominican tertiary, as he knew her from his personal experience and from the narratives of many other Catherine’s relatives and people close to her. The text has become for all future generations and centuries the most important and the most widely read source for understanding Catherine’s personality and life. So let us give hearing to Raymond’s words and let him introduce us to his spiritual teacher and daughter Catherine of Siena albeit in a very abridged version.

Kateřina Čadková
Extremitates sanctitatis
Discussion about the Non-Traditional Characteristics of the Holy Example of Catherine of Siena
The study of the Czech scholar summarizes the contemporary picture of the Siena Saint. Based on an analysis of historical evidence and sources it shows how problematic the person of Catherine appeared to different types of authorities of medieval society, and why. The author pays attention to the overall problem of superfluity (extremitates) in the life and manners of Catherine, and deals with the consequent reasons for criticism and distrust towards her. But then there is described how the view of these very same problematic features in her perception was gradually transformed, and led to the recognition of her sanctity and the role of the teacher and the prophet.

Ludvík Grundman O.P.
Eucharistic Ecclesiology in the Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena
St. Catherine of Siena is recognized as a great mystic and teacher of spiritual life. Equally her life was characterized by immense dedication to the welfare of the Church. The aim of this study is to present that Catherine not only loved the Church and struggled to reform her in every possible way, but she was also thinking profoundly about and meditating profoundly her mystery, which she did in a really theological way. Moreover, her doctrine is positively original, based on traditional themes of ecclesiology. Catherine however deals with the themes in a very individual way; the main role plays one of the key topics of her doctrine, the topic of the Blood.

Alessandra Bartolomei Romagnoli
Discussion about Stigmata
The text of Alessandra Bartolomei Romagnoli brings an unusual insight into the issue of stigmata, which became part of the cult of St. Catherine of Siena. The author follows the differences in the nature of stigmatization of the Dominican tertiary and Francis of Assisi, the most famous bearer of Christ’s wounds. She also notices different ways of reception of these special marks on the body of the Saint in medieval and early modern society. The author also describes the often rapid development, through which went the reception of Catharine’s stigmatization by the Franciscans and the high officials of the Church.

Gilles Berceville O.P.
Proclamation of St. Catherine a Doctor of the Church
The Historical-Theological Approach
In retrospect, a proclamation of female Doctor of the Church may seem completely natural and painless. Gilles Berceville O.P. shows however in his article, that this step was not at all obvious. The author describes the very first event when this title was bestowed on two women. He shows at the same time that the complex administrative process that led towards this event was not at all about the official formalities, but concerned truly theological problems. Various aspects of these problems are dealt with in this article. Appreciation of the work of Catherine from unusual perspectives is also offered – not just from the point of view of her supporters, who promoted her proclamation a Doctor of the Church, but as well as from the point of view of experts who had to pass a judgment on this nomination.

Paul VI
Pope’s Apostolic Letter Proclaiming St. Catherine of Siena a Doctor of the Universal Church
There is offered an edition of the apostolic letter, by which the Pope Paul VI on the October 4th 1970 proclaimed St. Catherine of Siena a Doctor of the Church.

Jan Stejskal
Catherine of Siena in the Context of Preaching of the Monk John Jerome of Prague
The study deals with a brief period of life of a Camaldolian monk John Jerome of Prague (c. 1367–1440) – particularly with the year 1425, when he preached about the lives both of Angela of Foligno and especially of Catherine of Siena. A strong regard towards Catherine he had probably encountered during his stay in Siena, where he actively participated in the Council during the years 1423–1424. Although Catherine of Siena definitely was not yet recognized as a saint at this time, John Jerome didn’t doubt a bit about her reputation, and examples from her life used in his sermons to his own purposes for the reform of the Church. He became probably the first Czech who preached about Catherine of Siena as about a saint, and thus he was decades ahead of her canonization.

Catherine of Siena
Letter to the King of France
There is presented the Letter 235 to Charles V, King of France, wrote by Catherine in Avignon in 1376, which calls for an end of wars and spiritual preparation for the Crusade.